[python-committers] Identify roles of the BDFL

Carol Willing willingc at gmail.com
Fri Jul 13 20:11:51 EDT 2018

> On Jul 13, 2018, at 11:39 AM, Brett Cannon <brett at python.org <mailto:brett at python.org>> wrote:
> On Fri, 13 Jul 2018 at 03:44 Victor Stinner <vstinner at redhat.com <mailto:vstinner at redhat.com>> wrote:
> Hi,
> 2018-07-12 19:12 GMT+02:00 Mariatta Wijaya <mariatta.wijaya at gmail.com <mailto:mariatta.wijaya at gmail.com>>:
> * Diversity. Last years, the BDFL was a strong player to enhance the
> diversity of core developers and contributors by mentoring directly
> Mariatta Wijaya, and suggesting regularly to mentor more people from
> minorities whenever possible. He also likes to wear PyLadies t-shirt
> and support DjangoGirls ;-)
> I lump this into the community and PR bucket as I don't know if we need to be worrying about appointing a head of diversity right now as that doesn't tie into governance. If, once this is all over, we want to take our diversity efforts to another level then a diversity SIG could be formed, but I don't see this as a BDFL thing and more of a team thing that someone choose to spearhead.


I'm wondering if prematurely placing this in the community and PR bucket gives mentoring and inclusion among the core developer enviroment enough strategic importance. Knowing how gracious you are, I suspect that you personally are viewing it as such. Yet, I'm not sure that by removing this as a role that Guido has played is best for the language or the developer community.

If I look at the many important roles that Guido has played, I personally believe that he has been someone who encouraged many women (and I'm sure others as well) and most importantly provided a safe place to share ideas. If we reflect on Mariatta's PyCon talk and Summit talk, it's clear that we should not overlook this role as growth and improvements still need to happen here.

I believe that improving the overall communication and professionalism on mailing lists and PEPs is important to continuously improve the culture and discourse. While this may help improve inclusion (and is a step in the right direction), I would encourage everyone to reflect on Mariatta's talks and consider whether improvement will happen if members of GUIDO/elders/triumvirate/kittens of entropy and anarchy/pick your governance/etc. don't believe, embrace, and make this a priority  in stewarding the future of the Python language.

tldr; We don't need a head of diversity. What we need is leadership that embraces inclusion and will steward the vision for improvements.


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